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At approximately 1600 hrs. on September 24, 2014 30-year-old Alton Nolen was fired at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma. He immediately drove to the front of the business, struck a vehicle and walked into the front office area. He attacked 54-year-old Colleen Hufford with a knife until he severed her head. Then he began attacking 43-year-old Traci Johnson with the same knife. He would have severed Ms.
At approximately 1600 hrs. on September 24, 2014 30-year-old Alton Nolen was fired at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma. He immediately drove to the front of the business, struck a vehicle and walked into the front office area. He attacked 54-year-old Colleen Hufford with a knife until he severed her head. Then he began attacking 43-year-old Traci Johnson with the same knife. He would have severed Ms. Johnson’s head if Mark Vaughan, an Oklahoma County reserve deputy and a former CEO of the business, hadn’t taken him down with three gunshots. Both Hufford, who was pronounced dead at the scene, and Johnson, who suffered multiple knife wounds, were random victims.
Nolen had a history of violence. He was convicted in January 2011 of multiple felony drug offenses, assault and battery on a police officer and escape from detention. But it was the murder MO and the fact that Nolen had recently converted to Islam and had been trying to convert people at Vaughn Foods to Islam that prompted the local police to call the FBI to assist in the investigation.
Nolen’s conversion to Islam, digital footprint and most significantly his decision to not just kill but behead his victim has prompted a heated debate over whether this crime is a case of workplace violence or lone wolf terrorism. Distinctions between the two are not based solely on the motivation for the murder. Forensics, victimology, weapons and crime scene indicators factor into classifications of violent crimes. Aspects that are consistent with workplace violence are that the incident occurred at a work place, was triggered by Nolen being fired, the victims were employees and that Nolen probably intended to die at the scene.
There are notable aspects of the homicide that are inconsistent with workplace violence. Nolen did not target the person who fired him or others who he perceived wronged him, he did not take hostages, the attack was not mission oriented and most significantly he did not use multiple firearms. Workplace homicides typically involve active shooters with an abundance of weapons (semiautomatic assault weapons), ammunition and other gear to support a sustained attack. Similarly lone wolf terrorist attacks typically are highly organized, involve specific targets, are preplanned paramilitary type operations and usually involve firearms and/or explosives. The victimology, crime scene, weapons, trauma and offender characteristics of the Oklahoma homicide technically do not neatly fit into either workplace violence or lone wolf terrorism categories.
The Crime Classification Manual (CCM), the standard system for investigating and classifying homicides and other violent crimes, has specific categories for every type of homicide. Workplace violence almost always is classified in the category of Personal Cause Homicide which is described as motivated from interpersonal aggression resulting from an underlying emotional conflict and is not sanctioned by a group. The most common workplace violence homicide subcategories are Authority Murder and Domestic Homicide. Lone wolf terrorist attacks are classified under the category of Group Cause Homicide which is described as motivated by ideas based on a particular political, economic, religious or social ideology. Lone wolf terrorism subcategories include Extremist Religious Homicide and Extremist Political Homicide. Although the motivation for this homicide category applies to the Oklahoma incident, Group Cause Homicide generally involves multiple offenders, multiple crime scenes and multiple victims. The Boston Marathon bombings were a classic example of lone wolf terrorism in the category of Extremist Religious Homicide.
According to the Crime Classification Manual (CCM) the murder of Colleen Hufford is a textbook case of Individual Extremist Religion Inspired Homicide which describes the motivation for the murder as based on a fervent devotion to a cause or system of beliefs and to further the goals and ideas of the group. The victims may be strangers or acquaintances of the offender and since many religious killings are relatively spontaneous, victims are most frequently opportunistic targets. A disorganized crime scene reflects the spontaneity and distress of the perpetrator. The homicide is intended to communicate some message on behalf of the group and the forensics demonstrate the calling card or signature aspect of the group. The killing may have ritualistic features such as religious symbolism, messages and particular corpse defacement and frequently involves uncommon weapons that have a relationship to religious symbolism. The offender may not be outwardly devout, but often evidence of traditional observance is found in the suspects home, including literature, pamphlets, symbols, writings and videotapes pertaining to the offenders belief system. Suspects may have experienced a recent loss or loss of self-esteem due to rejection. Committing the murder in the name of religion is a method to restore a sense of significance and respect.
The Moore Oklahoma murder meets all the criteria of Individual Extremist Religion Homicide. A symbolic analysis of the crime scene confirms the religious motivation. Colleen Hufford and Traci Johnson were not just employees they were also uncovered non-Muslim women, hence to a jihadist, legitimate targets. If the women were wearing hijab he would have moved on to other victims. Colleen Hufford was ritually murdered. Nolen picked up a 10 inch filet knife to stab her in the throat. He did not grab a hammer or pipe to inflict blunt force trauma he grabbed a standard knife used by employees and chose to completely sever her head from her body. Beheading in the context of Islam is symbolic of jihad. Witnesses heard Nolen shouting in Arabic while killing her. He most likely was saying “Allahu Akbar.” Shouting Arabic phrases is highly symbolic and one of the calling card signature aspects of the crime. Quoting the Quran or praising Allah ritualizes and justifies the violence as a religious execution sanctioned under Islam. Body positioning, mutilation or dismemberment is an extremely significant identifier when analyzing crime scenes. Nolen may have taken a few seconds to position her head on the back of her body which is the Al Qaeda in Iraq/Islamic State forensic signature. This crime was tactically, symbolically and forensically different than other disgruntled employee homicides.
This is neither workplace violence, nor lone wolf terrorism; this is a new tactic in the global jihad that I have previously referred to as a Jihad murder M.O. The distinction between lone wolf terrorism and Jihadist murder is important particularly when investigating active and cold case homicides that are not immediately recognizable as having links to Islamist jihadists. Homicides with similar forensic trauma have gone unsolved and unrecognized such as the triple ritual murder of Brendan Mess, Erik Weissman, and Raphael Teken in Waltham, MA by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the Boston bombers, and Ibragim Todashev. The case was initially investigated as a drug deal gone wrong although all three victims were nearly decapitated on September 11, 2011. The reason these cases are difficult to solve directly corresponds to the prohibitions on law enforcement training that banned any references to Islamic jihad or Islamism as the underlying ideology motivating crimes. So when evidence involves writings such as “Sharia law is coming!!!” that Nolen posted on his Facebook page, officers have no idea what that means and cannot perform an accurate threat analysis.
Further impediments to homicide investigations is that there is no training in Jihadist murders and little if none in Islamist terrorist identifiers, although similar to gangs, they have emblems, symbols, hand signs, flags, graffiti, headbands and clothing. Nolen’s Facebook page has a photo of him standing between two men dressed in Muslim garb throwing the ‘Tawheed’ hand sign, the index finger pointing up that is the most popular hand sign of Salafi Jihadists. It represents the doctrine of Tawheed (monotheism) and their willingness to die as martyrs to attain paradise. Even tattoos, one of the most prevalent law enforcement identifiers have been compromised by political correctness and lack of training in Islamist ideologies. Nolen’s conversion from Christianity to Islam is written on his body. His tattoos include an image of Jesus Christ on his chest, RIP Lil Kris, Judah tattooed on his left arm, an image of praying hands on his right arm and tattooed on his abdomen as-salaamu alaikum, Arabic for “peace be with you.” His religious tattoos are symbolic of a spiritual seeker who was ripe for recruitment. His Facebook page demonstrated that his radicalization was complete. His new Islamic identity included changing his name to Jah’Keem Yisrael and glorifying the ideals of global jihad.
Nolen was not simply a disgruntled employee seeking revenge, he envisioned himself as a Mujahideen warrior who was publicly dishonored by infidel unbelievers. Islamist propaganda that continually reminds young recruits like Nolen that they do not have to suffer the humiliation of non-believers prompted the murder. The shame of being fired triggered overwhelming emotions of disrespect that could only be alleviated by restoring his honor through violence. Nolen understood that whether he lived or died beheading would increase his status and reputation among jihadists worldwide. The murder of Colleen Hufford transformed an ex-con loser who can’t hold down a job into a Mujahideen rock star who will be hailed as a hero on jihadist forums and by the Islamic State. This will inspire more Jihadist murders not more workplace violence.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned Wednesday in the face of multiple revelations about bumbling in her agency and rapidly eroding confidence that the president and his family were being kept safe.
President Barack Obama "concluded new leadership of that agency was required," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
Though the day, high-ranking lawmakers from both parties had urged her to step down after her poorly received testimony to Congress a day earlier — and revelation of yet another security problem: Obama had shared an elevator in Atlanta last month with an armed guard who was not authorized to be around him.
"Today Julia Pierson, the director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement. He announced that Joseph Clancy, retired head of the agency's Presidential Protective Division, would come out of retirement to lead the Secret Service temporarily.
Taking further steps to restore trust in the beleaguered agency, Johnson also outlined an independent inquiry into the agency's operations.
That trust was shaken by a series of failures in the agency's critical job of protecting the president, including a breach Sept. 19, when a knife-carrying man climbed over the White House fence on Pennsylvania Avenue and made it deep into the executive mansion before being stopped.
After a congressional hearing Tuesday into that breach and an earlier one, reports emerged of still another. Earlier in September, Obama had shared an elevator in Atlanta with a private guard who was not authorized to be around him with a gun. That was the first known Secret Service failure to unfold in the presence of the president. The first family was not at the White House when the recent intruder entered.
The White House learned about the Atlanta episode when lawmakers and the public did — when the Washington Examiner and The Washington Post reported it, Earnest said.
Obama had not been told about it previously, Earnest said. This, despite Pierson's statement to the committee that she briefs the president "100 percent of the time" about breaches to his personal security and those at the White House. She said the only time she had briefed him this year was after the Sept. 19 White House incident.
Support for Pierson unraveled quickly after her defensive testimony Tuesday, which left key questions unanswered.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, were both to issue public calls for her resignation on Wednesday afternoon, their offices said. And Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a senior Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Pierson should either resign or Obama should fire her.
"Unfortunately, the Secret Service director's appearance before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee has left us with more questions than answers," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Although he stopped short of calling for Pierson's resignation in a statement early in the day, he backed a call for an independent investigation and said, "The president must make a swift determination on whether the agency is being well-served by its current leadership."
Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on the committee, said in multiple interviews Wednesday that Pierson was no longer the best person to lead the Secret Service.
"There has to be accountability when that is not the case," added House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who also backed calls for an independent investigation.
Officials are keen to stress that the development is not a cause for alarm. REALLY?
A three page list of recommendations instructs funeral workers to wear protective gear while handling Ebola victims, as well as warning them not to carry out autopsies or to embalm corpses.
“If the outbreak of the potentially deadly virus is in West Africa, why are funeral homes in America being given guidelines?” asks WFSB.com.
Last night it was revealed that a Dallas hospital is holding a potential Ebola victim in “strict isolation” after the patient was admitted based on symptoms and “recent travel history.”
Alysia English, Executive Director of the Georgia Funeral Directors Association, dismissed suggestions that Americans should be alarmed by the recommendations.
“Absolutely not. In fact, if they weren’t hearing about it, they should be a whole lot more concerned,” said English.
As we reported earlier this month, the U.S. State Department ordered 160,000 Ebola hazmat suits, prompting concerns that officials were preparing for an outbreak within the United States.
While Ebola has so far been confined to the continent of Africa, speculation has arisen that the virus could have gone airborne to at least a limited extent.
Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, acknowledged in a recent New York Times op-ed that virologists “loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private” the possibility that Ebola has gone airborne.
Top German virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit caused consternation recently when he suggested that the battle against Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia was lost and that the virus would eventually kill 5 million people.
As we reported back in 2009, the State of New York Division of Cemeteries sent out “Mass Fatality forms” to cemeteries in that state to collect data about their ability to deal with the high volume of casualties that would occur if their were a flu pandemic or other disaster.
Please watch video: chilling!
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